Venezuela opens gas pipeline, inks Gazprom deal

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro inaugurated the first section of the east-west running José Francisco Bermúdez natural gas pipeline, state energy firm PDVSA said in a press release.

When finished the pipeline is expected to total 470km and cost around US$2.3bn. The aim is to connect Venezuela's east with gas producing areas further west.

"We already brought gas to the first 500 families and will connect 2,500 families by the end of the year," energy minister and PDVSA president Rafael Ramírez said.

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On the same day PDVSA signed a technology cooperation agreement with Russian state natural gas firm Gazprom.

Objectives include the training of personnel as well as the sharing of gas exploration and transportation technology and techniques.

"We will share our technology, such as options in transportation and pipelines," Gazprom International general director Valery Gulev said.

"Gazprom's potential is huge. Russia has extensive experience as the world's largest gas exporter," PDVSA vice president Eulogio Del Pino added.